My Search for my Voice

 On Kathryn Craft’s blog post, 5 Things Readers Want from Novelists on Social Media on the Writers in the Storm blog, she relays five ways that novelists can engage readers with their online media. She (1) wants to be entertained, (2) be challenged to think for herself (3) be exposed to the new and different (4) receive news updates related to new books and career milestones, and finally (5) she wants the writer to give her hope. She does not want to hear the negativity of the book world, she wants to be lifted out of the rabbit holes that life often gives us.

Searching to perfect my  my writing voice.

Searching to perfect my my writing voice.

Instead of writing about writing, I want to write about things that people other than writers can identify with. I want to write about the ideas that my husband and I discuss on a daily basis. For instance, this idea comes in our conversations quite often. I read somewhere that everything that we “feel” comes from either “love” or “fear”. Those basic feelings mix with the random thoughts in our minds to create the myriad of emotions that we feel in our hearts. What if we started looking at every feeling that we have as based in either love or fear? For instance, I love writing, it is my passion, but there are aspects of writing that I’m afraid of. For instance, I am afraid to step out and do many of the things that I know I need to do to make my writing business successful. I tend to want to play it safe and that doesn’t lead to success in the writing arena, does it? What I need to do is to learn to love myself enough to recognize that I have what it takes to make it in the writing world, and to love the writing enough to allow it to bravely step out into the world and show its abilities.

I think that that is the artistic side of me that has difficulty presenting my precious babies to the world. I believe that what I am doing is great, that it is worthy of notoriety. My problem is: What if not everyone agrees with me. What if someone tells me that this work, that I have invested my whole life into is not good enough?  I feel that as a writer, I am a type of artist, and as an artist, my work is personal. When someone criticizes the art, that person is criticizing me.

That is why it is difficult for a writer to toot his or her own horn in marketing. The problem is, in today’s writing market, the writer has to be his or her own sales person as well and that goes against the nature of the artist. What an author needs is a manager similar to the manager of an actor or musician. We need to think outside of the traditional set ups that worked in the past. I am a writer. I don’t want to be a salesperson. I want to entertain as a story teller.  The question for me is how to I make that happen? How do I create a structure in my life that allows me to be able to use my writing to tell stories, to allow the creative juices flow? How do I keep from being mired down into the cesspool of begging people to buy my books? Who is the advocate for the Indie writer who wants to sit behind her computer and tell the stories that she wants to tell?

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I’d rather be writing than trying to figure out how to meet a quota of books sold, or trying to find the next sales venue or trying to figure out how to get people on social media back to my website to buy what I have written. I hope the reader of this blog forgives me as I try to get away from the writer blog and allow me to evolve as a writer.

During this past week, I have published three hubs on Hubpages two of which have been awarded as Editors Choice hubs. The editor’s choice hubs were:

An Author’s Human Resource Department 

What is the difference between GMO, Hybrid, and Heirloom seeds?

The last hub that I wrote this week was:

Where to Get Canning Jars

Does the cold weather have you trapped indoors  this weekend? How about curling up with a good novel historical novel. My novels When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry are now available for Kindle download.

The Muse and the Critic

One of the biggest reasons that a writer gets writer’s block is because what he or she is doing seems more like work than it does like play. Playing brings out the creativeness that we have within us. The mental critic that each of us has needs to be made to realize that during the creative process, he or she (mine is a he) doesn’t have a say. However, there does come a time when he can come out and work, throwing away the mess that the muse has created and sanding and painting and detailing the work that the muse had started.

Entertaining my muse is just going with the flow. What happen, happens.

Entertaining my muse is just going with the flow. What happen, happens.

This picture that I have of this interplay between the muse and the critic would make a good hub. The muse is a child who is playing. A muse can be male or female. My muse is female. She likes to make messes. She likes to play and create problems. She plays with abandon. She throws things together and mixed things together that have never been mixed before. She likes to cut with scissors and ball up paper and splash on paint willy-nilly.  She likes to look at something that seems ordinary and makes it look special. She takes the block of wood and turns it into a work of art. She likes to take thread and create tapestry. She likes to slap on the paint and calls it art.

My internal critic cleans up what the muse's play has messed up. Without the muse however, there's nothing there for the critic to clean up and detail

My internal critic cleans up what the muse’s play has messed up. Without the muse however, there’s nothing there for the critic to clean up and detail

When the muse is done making the mess, it is up to the critic to clean it up. The critic is an adult, but he does best if he does not try to appear to be a parent. Parents can be dictatorial, and our muse does not need someone standing over her shoulder, but she does need the critic to turn his or her rough creation into a work of art. The critic cleans up the mess that the muse has created. My critic is male. The critic reshapes the muses work. He smooths the rough edges and perfects the haphazard painting that the muse has playfully created. He then works on the detailing, crafting the art, perfecting it until the masterpiece is complete.